I LOVE BIOGAS - turn waste into fuel at home
 Posted on 14/04/2014 - 11:10
Idea Outline
An alternative, sustainable energy source for cooking on wood fire is needed to prevent health problems, deforestation and global warming. Our open source bioreactor controller supports you to turn organic waste from your home into sustainable biogas

The Challenge
What are the biggest challenges of our century? The world's growing population resulting in two things: 1) Increase energy need; 2) Increase waste production; Our bioreactor turns organic waste into bioenergy, offering a solution for both. -- The "I Love Biogas" project will empower citizens to run decentralized bioreactors. Our "controller" monitors the reactor and makes sure it operates under optimal conditions. Similar products currently on the market are expensive and proprietary technology. This prevents large scale adaptation and needs to change! This is why our project will deliver a prototype controller that is: - Easy to use; - Free Open Source Software; - Affordable Open Source Hardware; - Economically viable; - Enabling students to operate their own bioreactor;

The Solution

After you put organic waste in a bin it is taken to a land fill. Here it decays thanks to micro organisms that will ultimately convert it into gas. This is a very slow and inefficient process. Alternatively, the organic content can be used for the production of methane, which is a valuable local energy source for e.g. cooking or electricity generating

In our "Waste to Resource" lab we have built our own small scale bioreactor. On top of the Raspberry Pi and Arduino platforms we have developed a fully functional open source bioreactor controller, that we want to share with the world. In order to achieve that we need to:
- Consolidate the Raspberry Pi and Arduino hardware
- Integrate and document the software
- Release the source code and hardware schematics on our website

Target group and social impact
All around the world excess organic waste is piling up and left to rot. Our target group consists of citizens and professionals in the waste management industry that are engaged in reducing their environmental food print and looking for sustainable energy sources. Besides, due to the open source nature of our project, we aim to involve the European Do-It-Yourself Bio community and all other biohackers in continuing the co-development of the project. Thereby the project creates a new hub for open source bioreactor designers.

Competences of the applicant
We design, build and prototype biotechnological solutions for social innovation. TU Delft Science Centre is part of the Delft University of Technology, an international renowned export on environmental biotechnology. Waag Society is home to the Dutch Do-It-Yourself Bio community, open design Digital Fabrication Lab (FabLab) and co-founder of Creative Commons Netherlands.

Video Link
See video

Social Category
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Knowledge Society and Education

  • Tecnology Category
  • Data
  • Open Source
  • Web/Internet

  • Please log in to Rate this Idea

    I don't want to have potentially explosive artifacts at home

    I think the idea is great but I'm not sure the digital innovation presented here (the development of the "controller") is enough to takle the problem: first some house-friendly bioreactors have to be "accessible" to people and I'm not sure this is the state of the art yet (at the moment bioreactors look "lab-scale" only to me).

    I hope they will release the BOM list and estimated pricing to see how scalable it is.